Pools are great, and clean pools are even better, that is why it is super important to test your pool water to check the water balance levels. 

Getting Started with Pool Water Testing

Why test pool water?

Without the right chemical balance in your pool water, your swimming pool will no longer be a safe and clean environment, rather it will be a place where infectious diseases can spread and where damage to the pool can be caused. Pools are supposed to be fun, so lets make it fun with the correct water balance levels. 


How often should I test my pool water?

It is recommended to test your pool water at least once a week, unless: 


  • You are unfamiliar with your pool water balance levels and how often they change.
  • Your pool is used quite regularly.
  • Your area is experiencing extremely hot weather.
  • The colour of your pool water is irregular.
  • A recent weather storm has occurred. 


In these cases, it is suggested to test your pool water at least 2-3 times per week, as these situations could cause your pool water to become unbalanced quickly. 


How do I test my pool water?

There are many different options when it comes to pool testing. When using a pool test kit, it is crucial to store your supplies in a dry space at room temperature. Circulate the pool on the pump’s high setting for at least an hour before pulling a water sample for testing. 

Here are the different types of pool test kits you can use: 


1. Test strips 

Test strips are pieces of paper with a special treatment that you dip into your pool’s water to check its chemical levels. This causes the testing area to change colours depending on the chemical levels of the pool. 


Test strips give you fast results, are low cost and are user-friendly. They are the most common form of pool test kits. One thing to keep in mind about test strips is that they are not as accurate as some of the other options. You may also need to use multiple strips to test all the different chemical levels in your pool. There is an option to purchase test strips that can detect all the chemicals on a single strip, making it even easier to use, but these do cost more than the single chemical test strips.


How to use test strips:

  1. Check the expiry date before using.
  2. Dip the strip in the water and swirl it around.
  3. Wait four seconds.
  4. Use the chart provided in the kit to get the ranges for your chemicals by comparing it to the colour of the test bands.


2. Liquid tests

Liquid test kits use containers for the sampled pool water to be collected in. To test, simply collect water samples, then add the reagents for various chemicals to the different samples. The sample water will change colour, just like test strips, displaying the chemical concentrations.


More experienced pool owners tend to use liquid test kits. Though they are a bit more expensive than testing strips, they are more accurate.


How to use liquid tests:

  1. To prevent contamination, take the water samples at least 18 inches below the surface.
  2. The various reagents should be added to the various samples in the amounts specified.
  3. Shake the mixtures while they are covered.
  4. To read the results, compare the samples’ colours to the provided colour guide.


3. Digital testers

Digital testers are special pool thermometers that check chemical levels. To read the results, look at the LCD screen to see results of the chemical readings.  


Digital testers are the most accurate and the easiest to use out of all test options. Simply put the device into the water and then read the results. Digital testers can be quite pricey, but it is something you will only have to purchase once. 


How to use digital testers:

  1. Dip the testing device in the water.
  2. Read the results once they have appeared. 


Keeping up to date with regular chemical checkups will ensure that yourself and anyone else swimming in your pool is safe and keeping healthy in the pool! 


No matter how much pool care you perform, if your readings are alarming or your chemicals are regularly out of balance, it is time to get in touch with a professional Vancouver pool company.